Faq, Please read before posting
A shortened version of the Forums Rules is given below. The full version can be found here.
By maintaining a user account and by posting to these forums, you hereby agree to abide by these rules.
FORUMS RULES - A SNAPSHOT
- Stay safe - protect your privacy and respect the privacy of others
- No abusive, offensive or aggressive postings
- No insults or personal attacks
- No foul language
- No trolling
- No inappropriate or illegal material
- No advertising (including "For Sale" or "Wanted" adverts)
- No crossposting
- No forum spamming
- No defamatory comments
- Avoid using jargon, abbreviations or "text talk"
Faq, Please read before posting
Mar 30 2007, 12:05 PM
Joined: 15-May 05
From: UK - rural North Norfolk\East Anglia. Lincoln 104 miles. Ipswich 66 miles. Oxford 193 miles. Lewes 199 miles.
Member No.: 3680
ABRSM FORUMS FAQ
Using The Forums
USING THE FORUMS
- AVATARS: On these forums, avatars are not allowed, and you won't be able to place one underneath your name on every post. This is simply because the moderators have had problems in the past with people using the avatar function to add adverts and other inappropriate content to their profiles.
- CALENDAR: If you look on the top right-hand side of the page, you can access the forum calendar, which mentions any forum events and birthdays. Unfortunately, only the moderators can edit the calendar.
- CHANGING YOUR USERNAME: If you want to change your username, send a Personal Message to one of the moderators (CMORRIS, DJONES or LCleverdon). Don't be surprised if they don't accept you to change your name, though.
- CODE BOXES: You can also create code boxes, which allows you to align text wherever you want. It also allows you to show people a code that may be helpful, such as:
[size=2]code[/size]You can also create SQL boxes...
sql... HTML boxes...
html... and scrolling code boxes...
- CONTROL PANEL: If you click on 'My Controls' at the top of the page, you can access your user control panel, and do many things, such as:
If your computer is unable to use the cookie system to browse the board correctly, then the board will automatically add in a session ID to each link to track you around the board.
You can clear the cookies at any time by clicking on the link found at the bottom of the main board page (the first page you see when returning to the board). If this does not work for you, you may need to remove the cookies manually.
Removing Cookies in Internet Explorer for Windows
* Close all open Internet Explorer Windows
* Click on the 'start' button
* Move up to 'Find' and click on 'Files and Folders'
* When the new window appears, type in the domain name of the board you are using into the 'containing text' field. (If the boards address was 'http://www.invisionboard.com/forums/index.php' you would enter 'invisionboard.com' without the quotes)
* In the 'look in' box, type in C:WindowsCookies and press 'Find Now'
* After it has finished searching, highlight all files (click on a file then press CTRL+A) and delete them.
Removing Cookies in Internet Explorer for Macintosh
* With Internet Explorer active, choose 'Edit' and then 'Preferences' from the Macintosh menu bar at the top of the screen
* When the preferences panel opens, choose 'Cookies' found in the 'Receiving Files' section.
* When the cookie pane loads, look for the domain name of the board (If the boards address was 'http://www.invisionboard.com/forums/index.php' look for 'invisionboard.com' or 'www.invisionboard.com'
* For each cookie, click on the entry and press the delete button.
Your cookies should now be removed. In some cases you may need to restart your computer for the changes to take effect.
- CREATING A LIST: There are many ways to create a list. They are:
- CREATING A POLL: To start a poll:
- FAST REPLY: You may notice in the Forums Cafe, Games Zone and New Members forums that you can make a 'Fast Reply'. This simply means you can type in your post in a quicker and easier way rather than having to click on the 'Add Reply' button. Once you're on a thread, click on the (IMG:http://forums.abrsm.org/style_images/abrsmnew/t_qr.gif) button at the bottom of the page, and a box will appear, where you can type in what you want to post.
- FLOOD CONTROL: This board enables flood control, which is a way to stop spamming occuring. As a result, you will not be allowed to post twice in 30 seconds, or do two searches in 20 seconds.
- FORUM EVENTS: If you're new to the forums, you may have seen references to forum events like concerts, playdays and studio recordings and wondered what they are. The quick answer is that they are a brilliant way for forum members to meet each other and get experience performing, knowing that there are lots of forum friends there to support you.
For more details, see this thread.
- FORUM RULES: They can be found here.
- FORUMS: The different forums you can take part in are:
- LOCKING A THREAD: If you want a thread to be locked/closed for one reason or another, so no-one can post further in it, ask one of the moderators (CMORRIS, DJONES or LCleverdon). Locked threads have a cross ((IMG:http://forums.abrsm.org/style_images/abrsmnew/f_closed.gif)) besides them.
- LOGGING IN AND OUT: If you have chosen not to remember your log in details in cookies, or you are accessing the board on another computer, you will need to log into the board to access your member profile and post with your registered name.
When you log in, you have the choice to save cookies that will log you in automatically when you return. Do not use this option on a shared computer for security.
You can also choose to hide - this will keep your name from appearing in the active users list.
Logging out is simply a matter of clicking on the 'Log Out' link that is displayed when you are logged in. If you find that you are not logged out, you may need to manually remove your cookies. See the 'Cookies' help file for more information.
- MY ASSISTANT: 'My Assistant' is a pop-up which contains the following functions:
'My Assistant' can be found by clicking on the 'My Assistant' link at the top right-hand side of the page.
- ONLINE/OFFLINE: You can tell if a user is online below their username, as they will either have a dark blue (IMG:http://forums.abrsm.org/style_images/abrsmnew/p_online.gif) button or a lighter blue (IMG:http://forums.abrsm.org/style_images/abrsmnew/p_offline.gif) button. You can also tell from their profile. You can tell if a user is online if they have been on in the last 5 minutes. The (IMG:http://forums.abrsm.org/style_images/abrsmnew/p_online.gif) tag can be on up to a maximum of 15 minutes after they were last online, then they will be classed as (IMG:http://forums.abrsm.org/style_images/abrsmnew/p_offline.gif).
- POSTING A LINK: To post a link, copy the URL from the address toolbar, then place [URL] [/URL] tags around it. If you want to post the link as it looks from the address bar, then just paste the link into the reply box (no need to place [URL] [/URL] tags around it). If you want to replace the link with a word/words, click on the globe icon ((IMG:http://forums.abrsm.org/style_images/abrsmnew/folder_rte_images/hyperlink.gif)), then paste the link in the command box, press 'OK', then type in the word/words you want to display for the link. For example, a link to the ABRSM homepage could look like this:
[url=http://www.abrsm.org/?page=home]Click here![/url] would appear as Click here!
Tip: To make a word/words already on your post into a link, highlight the word, and click on the (IMG:http://forums.abrsm.org/style_images/abrsmnew/folder_rte_images/hyperlink.gif) icon. Paste the link into the command box and press 'OK'. You will find that the next command box won't appear. This is because you have already highlighted the words that you want to put into your link.
- POSTING AN IMAGE: To post an image, copy the URL from the address toolbar, then place [IMG] [/IMG] tags around it. Or you can click on the tree icon ((IMG:http://forums.abrsm.org/style_images/abrsmnew/folder_rte_images/image.gif)) after clicking (IMG:http://forums.abrsm.org/style_images/abrsmnew/t_reply.gif), and paste the link into the command box that appears. For example:
[IMG]http://forums.abrsm.org/style_emoticons/default/blush.gif[/IMG] would appear as (IMG:http://forums.abrsm.org/style_emoticons/default/blush.gif)
- POSTING FEATURES: There are many posting features on these fora. Some of them include:
- RANKS FOR POST COUNT: The number of posts to get to each rank are:
- READING POSTS Clicking on an orange square ((IMG:http://forums.abrsm.org/style_images/abrsmnew/newpost.gif)) next to any thread will take you to the last post you have not read. The text above the 'Last Post By' will take you to the last post, and clicking on the thread name will take you to the first post of the thread. You can also jump to a page by clicking on the (IMG:http://forums.abrsm.org/style_images/abrsmnew/pages_icon.gif) icon on the right-hand side of the thread name. To mark a forum as read, click on the dark blue (IMG:http://forums.abrsm.org/style_images/abrsmnew/bf_new.gif) box next to that forum on the main board index to turn it to light blue ((IMG:http://forums.abrsm.org/style_images/abrsmnew/bf_nonew.gif)).
- RECOVERING LOST OR FORGOTTEN PASSWORDS: Security is a big feature on this board, and to that end, all passwords are encrypted when you register.
This means that we cannot email your password to you as we hold no record of your 'uncrypted' password. You can however, apply to have your password reset.
To do this, click on the Lost Password link found on the log in page.
Further instruction is available from there.
- REGISTRATION BENEFITS: To be able to use all the features on this board, the administrator will probably require that you register for a member account. Registration is free and only takes a moment to complete.
During registration, the administrator requires that you supply a valid email address. This is important as the administrator may require that you validate your registration via an email. If this is the case, you will be notified when registering. If your e-mail does not arrive, then on the member bar at the top of the page, there will be a link that will allow you to re-send the validation e-mail.
In some cases, the administrator will need to approve your registration before you can use your member account fully. If this is the case you will be notified during registration.
Once you have registered and logged in, you will have access to your personal messenger and your control panel.
- REPORTING A POST: If you find that someone has said something nasty or offensive to you, without apology, then click on the (IMG:http://forums.abrsm.org/style_images/abrsmnew/p_report.gif) button at the bottom of their post to alert a moderator.
- SMILIES: Smilies can be used to show feelings and emotion when posting. The different smilies that are available on these forums are:
- WARNINGS: You may notice that there is a 'Warn: (0%)' message, with five blue squares after it ((IMG:http://forums.abrsm.org/style_images/abrsmnew/warn0.gif)) displayed under every one of your posts. Don't worry - you haven't done anything naughty. You can only see your own one, just like with everyone else. It is there to keep track of any warnings you may have been given by the moderators. If you get a warning, the percentage will increase, and the first blue box will light up ((IMG:http://forums.abrsm.org/style_images/abrsmnew/warn1.gif)). If all five boxes light up, you are likely to be pre-moderated, meaning you've been warned too many times. You can click on the '0' to see if you have any saved warnings, and why you may have been warned. If you receive five warnings (each warning goes up by 20%), then you will get pre-moderated for a short period of time. If, after that period of time you continue to misbehave, then you risk getting banned from using these fora, and your account will be deleted.
Theory: 66 = Pass | 80 = Merit | 90 = Distinction | 100
Practical: 100 = Pass | 120 = Merit | 130 = Distinction | 150
- To see the graded examinations syllabuses, including aural, theory and practical musicianship, click here.
- 'These Music Exams' is a useful publication written by the AB's very own Clara Taylor. It basically talks about what it is like to take a graded music exam, and any tips and advice before, during and after taking an exam. Click here to view the PDF file.
LIBRETTO: Libretto is the journal of The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. It is published three times a year and contains news and syllabus updates together with articles on a wide range of music education topics. You can download the current issue and back issues here.
Frequently Asked Exam Questions
Q: When will I receive my exam results?
A: If you are in the UK, for practical exams, the results should arrive in approximately 2 weeks. For theory exams, the results usually take around 6 weeks. If you took your exam in another country, it may differ.
Q: What do I need for the theory exam?
A: You will need two pencils, two rubbers [recommended], a ruler, the sticky label with your name on it, and possibly a bottle of water if necessary. Make sure the pencils, rubbers, etc. don't have the resemblance of a piano keyboard, otherwise you may get penalised. You will be given a piece of rough manuscript paper so you can draw a piano keyboard on there if you want to. Oh yes, and don't forget to bring yourself!
Q: What will happen in the theory exam?
A: You will enter the examination room, and you will be told where to sit. You will be given the theory paper, and a piece of manuscript paper to do any rough work. You will be told how long you have to complete the exam paper, and when you can leave, depending on which grade you are taking.
Q: I've lost my label! What do I do now?
A: Contact the AB, who will sort out the problem.
Q: The syllabus I've been working on has changed. Can I use pieces from last year's syllabus in my exam this year?
A: In the UK and Ireland you can play the pieces set for the previous year until the end of May. In other countries the overlap period for pieces is a full year (until the end of December). You cannot mix pieces from the old and new syllabuses during these overlap periods. In all countries the overlap applies to pieces only: any changes to scales, sight-reading or aural tests come into effect on 1 January of the year the new syllabus begins.
New syllabuses are usually published around six months before their start date, to give candidates and teachers time to prepare. For example, the Piano Syllabus 2007 & 2008 were available in July 2006.
Q: May I bring a page-turner to my exam?
A: Diploma candidates may bring a page-turner without asking permission, as can organists at all grades and accompanists for Grade 8 or diplomas. Grade 7 and 8 candidates need to make a request in writing at the time of entry letting us know which piece, or pieces, they would like to bring a page-turner for and what editions they will be using. Candidates for Grades 1 to 6 are expected to make their own page-turns. At any grade, pauses or difficulties with page-turning in the exam will not affect the marks.
Q: Do I need to play repeats?
A: Da capo (DC) and dal segno (DS) indications should be followed but other repeats should not be played, unless stipulated in the syllabus. In early grades, however, very short repeats may be played at the discretion of the teacher or candidate.
Q: My pupil can't/won't sing in the singing part of the aural tests. What should I do?
A: Your pupil could either hum or whistle - the examiner will not be assessing vocal quality. Candidates with a limited vocal range should feel free to tell the examiner, who will endeavour (not guarantee) to find tests within the range specified.
Q: I'm playing a concerto movement. Do I need to play the cadenza and are all the tuttis needed?
A: Cadenzas should not be played, unless specified in the syllabus. Tuttis are not usually required, other than those specifically stated in the syllabus. Candidates should arrange in advance with their accompanists which tuttis might usefully be omitted.
Q: I have a copy of a piece in the syllabus, but it's a different edition from the one listed. Can I use my copy for the exam?
A: You can use any edition of the music unless the syllabus specifies a particular arrangement or transcription. Always check the syllabus.
Q: Has the jazz syllabus changed?
A: No - all jazz syllabuses remain in force until further notice. We currently offer jazz exams at Grades 1 to 5 for piano, clarinet, sax, trumpet and trombone. Also available are Jazz Ensemble exams and Performance Assessment in jazz.
Jazz exams can be taken in the UK and Ireland, Australia, Canada (Manitoba), Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur and Penang), New Zealand, Singapore and the USA (New York).
We introduced jazz flute for Grades 1 to 5 in January 2007. Adding more jazz instruments and extending exams to Grade 8 are developments that we are interested in exploring in the future. However, we are not working on these projects currently.
Q: I'm having trouble playing the ornaments as they are written in the music. Will I be penalised in my exam?
A: There is no single correct way to play ornaments and you should use your musical discretion. If you need to, it is better to simplify the ornaments. Examiners would rather hear a confident simplified version of an ornament than a performance that suffers because you are struggling to perform the suggested interpretation.
Q: Can I use a photocopy of the music in my exam?
A: You should not make or use photocopies unless you have written permission from the publisher. You are allowed to photocopy individual pages in order to avoid a tricky page turn, but only if the publisher of the piece is signed up to the Music Publishers' Association (MPA) Code of Fair Practice. The Code of Fair Practice is available at http://www.mpaonline.org.uk/ and participating publishers are listed in Appendix C.
Q: I would like to take a high-grade (6, 7 or 8) practical exam but I don't have Grade 5 Theory. I do have O/A level Music/a Music degree/etc. Can I be exempt from taking the theory exam?
A: For enquiries of this kind contact Louise Leigh in the Director of Examinations Department:
t +44 (0)20 7467 8247
Send Louise Leigh an email
FREQUENTLY ASKED MUSIC-RELATED FORUM QUESTIONS
Q: My exam's coming up and I'm worrying about nerves. How can I calm them down?
A: Shaking fingers, butterflies in the stomach and general agitation are all old friends to professional musicians. Newcomers to performing may find these perfectly natural symptoms distressing and need help in coping with them.
Parents, teachers and candidates should remember that these feelings are entirely normal. Accepting signs of heightened preparation for the activity to come is half the battle and using the extra adrenalin to good purpose is the next step.
It takes experience to deal with nerves. Most performers, especially if given plenty of calm support beforehand, learn to cope. Talking the situation through with the teacher can help and playing or singing to informal groups is also useful. Allowing plenty of time on the day, so there is no last-minute panic, and taking a few deep breaths are tried and tested ways to help the situation. It is also known that eating a banana half an hour before your exam can calm down your nerves. This is because they contain a natural source of beta-blocker, which neutralises the acids in your mouth.
Candidates are always grateful for a cheerful, no-fuss attitude from accompanying adults. It is usually a case of 'least said, soonest mended' but it is always a good idea to remind them that the examiner is on their side and will be hoping to award good marks.
Adult candidates often suffer more from nerves than children. For a variety of reasons, all of them understandable, it frequently takes adults quite some time to settle down and begin to play the pieces. Usually all goes well and the examiner will certainly be understanding, but in rare cases where nerves prove too much of a stumbling block and are restricting progress, it may be wise to consider Performance Assessment as an alternative. This is an opportunity to play to the examiner without the pressure of passing or failing. Detailed comments are written at the time of the assessment and given to the candidate immediately. There are no supporting tests but 15 minutes are allowed for playing pieces of the candidate's own choice and also for a short chat with the examiner. Not surprisingly, many adults choose this stress-free option and find it ideal for focusing progress while avoiding the pass-fail situation, which some adults find at odds with the pleasure that they have in learning an instrument or singing.
This link gives some more advice as to how you can calm down your nerves.
Q: Am I too old to learn an instrument?
A: No. No-one is too old to learn. We have participants on the forums who have started an instrument in their 60s or later, and teachers on the forums who have pupils in their 70s and 80s.
Adults are as capable as children of learning new skills and polishing them to a high standard. And adult learners may well be more motivated to learn than their younger counterparts.
Granted, problems like arthritis can eventually limit one's manual dexterity, but it is frequently possible to choose another instrument (or choose to sing) that involves movement within one's capabilities.
Q: How long does it take to get to Grade 8?
A: This depends on a lot of factors, including whether this is the player's first instrument or a subsequent one, whether the player has prior experience on the instrument in question before starting lessons, how much one practises - and how effectively.
In any case, Grade 8 need not be one's ultimate target. Enjoying the instrument is far more important.
Q: Which is the hardest instrument?
A: All instruments have their own intrinsic challenges. Different people will find different instruments to be harder to play, or harder to perfect their playing even if their initial progress was rapid. All instruments require practice to achieve the best performance of which the player is capable.
Q: What is DipABRSM/LRSM/FRSM?
These are basically diplomas, which are exams higher than Grade 8.
Q: I'm looking for a new <insert instrument here> teacher in the <insert city/county here> area. Can anyone recommend one?
A: Try these options:
A: There are many websites where you can get sheet music or scores from. They include:
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